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The Lesson

October 4, 2010

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“Hello”

“Hello… hello… who is this? This is my phone, which I lost in the taxi. Who is this?”

“Yes, you are absolutely right. This is your phone, which I found in the taxi after you had got down. I have your phone safely with me. So don’t worry.”

“Thank god! I was getting so worried when I found it switched off the first time I called. I was sure that I won’t get my phone back. So, when and where do I meet you?”

There was a soft laugh on the other side. “Not so soon.”

I was shocked with the sudden change in tone. I knew where it was leading to. After all, I would be a fool to expect anyone to return a brand new One Touch Net Phone without any consideration.

“How much money do you want to return my phone?”

There was a deafening silence for a few seconds, which seemed like long hours. Has he hung up? “Hello, you there?”

“You have a knack for photography, it seems. Moreover, the camera on your phone is quite nice.”

My heart almost stopped beating. So he has seen them!

***************

Today, may be a good day to ask for the leave, thought Shilpa. The Boss seemed to be in a good mood and she really needed the leave for a week starting from next Monday.

But all the calculative measures went for a toss the moment she mentioned the word ‘leave’. The Boss looked as if she had mentioned the more dangerous word “increment” or “bonus”.

“Next Monday? What date is it? Hmm… 11th October… When is this project coming to an end?”

Shilpa replied eagerly, “Sir, we are giving the report on Thursday. So, by Friday, we should be wrapping everything up.”

She wondered what was that look that the Boss gave her. Was she really going to be successful in getting a leave this time?

“Sir, I really need a week off from Monday. I shall work overtime, if required for the next one or two weeks to make up for the lost time.”

“We shall see later. Now, please go back to work and show me at least the preliminary reports by afternoon.”

Shilpa could not help but sigh.

***************

“Hello, Hero, were you sleeping?”

The voice on the other side of the phone brought me to reality with a start. Where the hell did he find my second number?

“What are you talking of? And why are you calling at this time of the night?”

“Arre, Hero, your phone book gave me your second number. So I thought of giving you a call myself. Since I removed your sim card, you would have never found me again. But how could I let you go? After all, I have to return your smart phone one day.”

One day?! What does he mean? I still haven’t figured out what he wanted.

The voice continued. “Your phone has been providing me entertainment throughout day and night. Its a good phone, must say. I have been playing the games and have beaten all your highest scores. But the most interesting part of your phone is your album. They are a treasure house.”

Even with the chill induced by the air conditioner in the room, I felt a trickle of sweat go down my face.

“So, who are they? I find at least 10 different of them. And yes, I must admit that you have good taste.” He laughed that slow, mad laugh of his again.

“What’s the price?” I blurted out.

“Why are you worried, Hero? Are you married? with kids? with a respectable name? Why?”

I tried to keep my shaking voice under control. “I don’t know what are you talking of. I just want my phone back and I am asking the price for it.”

He chuckled. “But I also want a price for the photos stored in your phone. I don’t think you would like it if they suddenly find their way into the internet.”

I said, “How does it matter to me? They are not my photos anyways. I don’t even know the names of all of them.”

“So, they are women you don’t know? and yet, they have posed intimately in front of you? And let you photograph them? What sort of a pervert are you, Hero?,” he sounded delirious. “Just to refresh your memory before you wash your hands off the photographs, there are at least three photographs where you appear in equally embarrassing lack of clothing.”

I jumped out of my bed. This can’t be happening to me. I have a company of my own; a family of wife and son; name; honour; wealth everything. I am a successful man. This creep of a man can’t threaten me, just because he had chanced upon the only vice of mine. This one weakness of flesh can’t cost me so much!

“I will give you whatever you want in exchange of the phone along with the photographs. Tell me how much and where.”

“Very good. Bring 10 lakhs of rupees, all in 1000 rupees notes in a black bag and leave it in the common trash can of your office tomorrow after office. Remember to cover the bag with actual trash, preferably papers and old files. You shall find your phone in the same trash can the next morning, covered in a yellow plastic sheet.”

***************

Shilpa caught her Boss in a straight forward stare. So, what others say about him is actually true!

“Shilpa, treat this as a kind gesture from my side, for all the assistance rendered by you in completing this assignment on time. Its just a dinner at the Resort and nothing else.”

“Sir, I was just thinking that its so far away from the city and that I might get late in returning home. I am thankful to you for the offer, but can we go somewhere near, please?” Shilpa knew she was transgressing her limits but she simply could not let the Boss have his way with her at least.

“C’mon, Shilpa. Its a favourite spot of mine. Moreover, don’t worry about being late. Its such a wonderful place that you may not want to return at all.”

Before Shilpa left the chamber, the Boss called out, “Just to inform you, your leave for a week from Monday has been sanctioned.”

***************

“Your Boss is a real creep. Look at these photographs he had stored in his phone. How can you work for such a man?”

Shilpa looked at her husband. “I have just heard rumours before. But when he asked me to go to the Resort with him, I knew those stories are true. I need the money, Ranjan; for both of us.”

Ranjan gave her a sad smile, “I have totally ruined your life, isn’t it? That one accident which left me handicapped have crippled our lives in so many ways. I cannot believe you actually thought you could get away untouched. Why did you agree to go?”

Shilpa cried, “Believe me, I thought I could manage throughout the dinner without him getting intimate with me. I really need the job, Ranjan; and I also need to take you to Vellore as soon as possible and had also applied for a leave.”

Ranjan stroked his wife’s head. “You were a fool, dear. You were lucky that you managed to get down from the taxi, before he could go any further. But this phone of his, which you accidentally took away in the scuffle, has come as a boon in our lives.”

“Aren’t we doing a crime by blackmailing him?”

Ranjan spat with disgust. “Crime? This man is a pervert, taking advantage of women and storing their intimate photos in his latest mobile phone. He is a creepy old bastard, who needs to be shown his place. Had he not tried his dirty tricks with you, I may have never even thought of doing any such thing. But he needs to be taught a lesson. After tonight’s episode, I am sure you will not work for him any more and hence we require this money to carry on with our lives.”

Shilpa snuggled close to Ranjan. “I want to delete those photographs before we return the phone to him.”

Ranjan took her in his arms. “Of course, darling, we shall.”

This post is in response to the “Share Life Blogger Contest” by Indiblogger in association with Tata DOCOMO OneTouch Net Phone. It is somewhat inspired by real-life stories where women find themselves being clicked without their permission, which later find their way into pornographic websites after being morphed. It is also inspired by the numerous incidents of intimate photographs of couples being leaked by the irate partner after a breakup. I strongly urge all to use their smart gadgets responsibly, with due permission and not breaching any one’s privacy.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2010 8:33 pm

    Intriguing and engaging. The way the menace is portrayed is noteworthy. It all comes down to a vicious circle where almost every time the woman in question stands to be tagged “dishonoured”.

    Nice point you made there; the men always get away with all the “fun” and the women are left to defend their honour… Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  2. October 4, 2010 9:36 pm

    interesting. specially the bit about the scuffle. makes the story deeper as if u just covered a neat two-hour journey in a line. imho this is serious good stuff 🙂 keep it up

    Thanks a lot 🙂 Glad that you liked it 🙂

  3. October 4, 2010 10:44 pm

    awesome…..feels so real!!

    Thanks.. This IS real… not the storyline may be but such incidents are rampant

    • October 5, 2010 4:49 pm

      just one thing….few ppl see it as a ‘weakness of flesh’….most see it as a game..a hunt; something that boosts their egos. And the potographs are used to remind oneself of the trophies that one has won, I guess. Also gives the guy the bragging rights when he’s with likeminded friends, and such ppl aren’t too rare. In a bygone era, a photo of one with his right foot on the head of a fallen tiger served just this purpose, if you ask me. Or the horns of a rhino.

      I doubt that’s what a guy like that would say to himself, even when he’s cornered.

  4. October 6, 2010 10:27 am

    Lady. You are a professional. This was wonderful. I never knew you were So good !!! Well… You surely need a pat in the back. I did not get the time to read the entire story, but the way the 1st paragraph went, i thought i would need some time to really read and enjoy.I will read it patiently when i can squeeze in some time here. But honestly , this is talented stuff … NEAT ….

    Wow! such glowing recco 🙂 thanks a lot 🙂 Do read the whole of it and give me feedback 🙂

  5. October 6, 2010 10:58 am

    Brilliant take! You are a good story teller and the suspense was nicely woven to keep the readers engaged till the end. watch for the courier bringing in your “SmartPhone”.

    Firstly, a very warm welcome and many thanks – both for your appreciation and the Indivine vote 🙂 Thank you so much!

  6. October 6, 2010 12:29 pm

    Excellent post, have read a lot of the posts for the contest, this one is original and creative. The danger of smart phones is also clearly expressed

    Thank you so much! Coming from you, I really value your appreciation 🙂 and many thanks for your Indivine vote, too 🙂

  7. Xeennia permalink
    October 6, 2010 2:13 pm

    very well written…a good take…

    Welcome! and thank you for your comment and the vote 🙂

  8. October 6, 2010 8:08 pm

    Excellent! me too liked that scuffle stuff. You have loads of patience to give ideation to your thoughts and then put it all in a magnificent way. May you win the contest 🙂 All the best.

    Firstly, many thanks for your comment and vote. I am glad that so many people are taking time out to read the post 🙂 Winning actually becomes secondary to appreciation of readers…

  9. October 7, 2010 10:03 pm

    Edge of my seat…. really! This one is a movie…

    I am so glad that you dropped by and liked my post. Thank you so so much 🙂 Your comment on FB and Indivine is truly appreciated

  10. October 8, 2010 12:52 am

    Brilliant abs brilliant… u kept me intrigued from the first word to the end… the feeling of “whats next?” made me go on reading it… way to go buddy… 🙂

    Thank you Tavish! 🙂

  11. October 8, 2010 3:58 pm

    Wow! Excellent narration. Worth for the contest win! Not sure if you are a professional writer. If not don’t delay, you ought to pulish books 🙂 My sincere wishes for you to win!

    Welcome to my blog! I am glad that you liked my post so much 🙂 and thanks a ton for the Indivine vote and wishes; I am happy that I gained a new reader 🙂

  12. October 9, 2010 3:23 am

    A Very, very sensible post, Really. And with an equally intriguing manner to hold back the reader till the very end.

    And the message in “the lesson” .. well, nothing to say, you said it in best manner possible. I think you should watch the Movie – An Education (if you have not watched it already). Though your post and the movie are completely unrelated, but there’s this uncanny similarity in them.

    Thank you for writing such an sensible post.

    I haven’t watched that movie, will check it out for sure… and many thanks for your encouraging words 🙂

  13. October 13, 2010 9:16 am

    Lovely blog!

    Enjoyed reading about Saraswathi pooja. We are celebrating Saraswathi pooja tomorrow.

    Thanks 🙂 enjoy the celebrations 🙂

  14. October 13, 2010 9:57 pm

    Hi,
    I’m a 15 year old blogger currently taking part in the indiblogger share life contest! Please read n supprt me by voting if u find it interesting. Thanks in advance. Add me to ur network on fb and twitter too.
    Post link: http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=35701

  15. October 14, 2010 11:09 am

    One of the best post I read today………….. Keep it up 🙂


    Welcome! and thanks 🙂

  16. Suman permalink
    December 22, 2010 3:11 am

    feels like i just read a column in my news daily!..
    I think i shd stop here for today!!.. I am subscribing to ur RSS feeds after reading this blog!

    Feels good to know that you subscribed to the feed 🙂 and yes, you should stop since its already quite late 😉

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